September 16, 2015

Cornelius and Cyprian

September 16, 2015:  SS. Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

  • 'Angel' pin:  [Christ was] seen by angels (1st reading)
  • 'Girl with heart' pin:  I'll thank God with all my heart (psalm)
  • 'Food' tie:  The Lord gave food to those who fear him (psalm); The Son of Man came eating and drinking...  (gospel)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Wisdom is vindicated by all her children. (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin, red shirt:  martyrdom of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian
Pope Francis
Audience:  We're on the eve of the beautiful and challenging World Meeting of families and Synod of Bishops; both have universal dimension and scope.  We've reflected on the value of the marriage covenant for the future of the human family.  Marriage and family have an essential role in shaping a more humane political, economic, and social life.  The role is more critical today, in a society increasingly subject to technology and to forms of economic colonization subordinating ethics to profits.  God entrusted creation to us and, despite our rejection, continues to watch over our efforts to make this world our common home.  By Jesus' coming he's maintained his promise to bless and protect us.  May all families come to know this blessing!
World Day of the Sick message: “Entrusting Oneself to the Merciful Jesus like Mary” (continued from yesterday):  At Cana Jesus helped those in need.  During his ministry he healed people of illnesses, expelled demons, gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk, restored health and dignity to lepers, raised the dead, and proclaimed the good news to the poor.  Mary’s request at the wedding feast shows both Jesus’ power and his mercy.
God's tenderness is reflected in Mary’s concern; it's also in all who attend the sick and understand their needs, look on them with love.  How often mothers near their sick children, children caring for their parents, and grandchildren concerned for their grandparents ask Mary's help!  Jesus showed the Kingdom through his healings.  But love makes us ask for more than physical health:  God's gift of peace.
At Cana Mary tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  The miracle is Christ's work, but he relies on human cooperation.  How pleasing to God to serve others!  It makes us like Jesus, who came to serve.  These unnamed servants teach us:  they obey generously, filling the jars to the brim, trusting Mary and doing what she asked well, without complaining or second thoughts.
Ask Jesus in his mercy, through Mary's intercession, for readiness to serve those in need, especially our sick.  The service can be tiring and burdensome, but we know the Lord will make our efforts divine.  We can be hands, arms, and hearts to help God perform miracles.  We can offer our toil and sufferings like the water turned into fine wine.  By helping the suffering we take up our cross and follow the Master.  Suffering will remain a mystery, but Jesus helps reveal its meaning. (concluded tomorrow)
    "We played the flute..."
  • 1 Tm 3:14-16  You should know how to behave in the household of God, the Church, the foundation of truth.  Great is the mystery of devotion, Who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.
  • Ps 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6  "How great are the works of the Lord!"  I'll thank the Lord with all my heart.  He's gracious and merciful, and just.  He gave food to those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever....
  • Lk 7:31-35  “The people of this generation are like children who call, ‘We played the flute, but you didn't dance.  We sang a dirge, but you didn't weep.’  John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He's possessed.’  The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you said, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, friend of tax collectors and sinners.’  But wisdom is vindicated by her children.”
      St. Cornelius
    • Creighton:  “Children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another” evokes images of a Starbucks with people on their electronic devices, tapping away, oblivious to what's happening around them.  People judged Jesus and John not on truth but what their shallow impressions.  I imagined I greeted a day with tablet in hand:  I looked up stars' names, with GPS help found the time of sunrise, checked the temperature, identified the birds, bees, and flowers online, started up "sunrise music"—and missed the sunrise.  I can judge happenings from my device instead of being aware of them directly.  May I let go of shallowness, open up to the life around me, not force my understanding of Jesus into my preconceptions, and more fully embrace God's great works.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Plans for the self-made man":  God has plans for our welfare, to give us a future of hope, but I can ruin them.  May I die to self before I die from self.  Only Jesus can set us free from the tyranny of self:  "He died for all so we might live no longer for ourselves."  "No one should seek his own interest but rather his neighbor's" (1 Cor 10:24). "Think humbly of others as superior to yourself, looking to others' interests...."  "Those who bring themselves to nought for me discover who they are."  The crucifix is the perfect picture of dying to self....
    • Passionist:  Let’s not be the generation Jesus speaks of as children focused on what isn’t while in the presence of what is.  Let’s know we have enough; let’s behave ourselves in the household of God, humbled, and thank God for every day of life.
      St. Cyprian
    •  The children in Jesus' parable are disappointed because they can't convince others to join in their game.  This refrain echoes "A time to weep, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance."  Joyful and sad occasions demand a response; indifference or disdain is unfitting and unkind.  Jesus' message is a proclamation of good news, joy, and hope, and a warning for those who don't accept it. Out of jealousy and spiritual blindness the scribes and Pharisees attributed John's austerities to the devil and Jesus' table fellowship as evidence for pretending to be Messiah. They frustrated God's plan for their lives because they closed their hearts.  Today is also marked by indifference and contempt.  Indifference dulls us to God's voice and the Gospel.  Only the humble hungry for God can find joy....

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